Evolution 2.0: Book, Prize & Cancer Research

Evolution 2.0 was sparked by a burning question: Is the hand at the end of your arm an accumulation of random accidents… or the culmination of an intentional process? This exploration (described in detail on my personal and family page) pried open a door to the most under-reported discoveries in the history of science. The world’s most pressing questions were being plastered over by simplistic explanations and fiction stories.

My book Evolution 2.0 became the first book to accurately describe, in plain English, how living cells engineer their own evolution. The Evolution 2.0 prize reaches to the origins of life and asks: Where did the genetic code come from? Where do cells get their ability to reprogram themselves? These are literally the most bedrock questions in science... and nobody has the answers.

The competition was announced at the Royal Society in London with Oxford scientist Denis Noble, with Harvard geneticist George Church on the judging panel; reported in The Financial Times, Forbes, INC, and Voices from Oxford. My first scientific paper, “Biology Transcends the Limits of Computation” was published in Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology.

My dad died of cancer when I was 17, and The war on cancer is a $250 billion elephant in the room - because a stage 4 cancer patient is little better today than in 1930. A major reason for this is a profession-wide failure to correctly define evolution. Ordinary cells daily perform tasks that were long ago declared impossible.

The power of tumors to thwart cancer treatments is fueled by an evolutionary toolkit that all living things possess. The adaptive power of this toolkit has been severely understated in biology books and in the popular media. It is a thousand times faster and more powerful than most ever imagined.

So in 2020 I joined Frank Laukien and James Shapiro in organizing the Cancer & Evolution Symposium with “Blue Chip Renegades” from Harvard, MIT, Oxford, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, M.D. Anderson, ASU, Columbia, and Yale. Our Cancer & Evolution community is now an official Working Group of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the largest cancer research body in the world. Our scientists insist cancer has been wrongly defined as a “disease of the genes.” A far more accurate definition is “cells willfully evolving out of control.” The secret to evolution is cancer… and the secret to cancer is evolution.

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